Bithikotsis Grigoris

Bithikotsis Grigoris

Born: 11-12-1922
Died: 07-04-2005
From: Greece, Athens, Peristeri

Biography

Bithikotsis was born in Peristeri, Athens, in 1922 to a poor family. He became interested in music at an early age, and acquired a bouzouki as soon as he was able. At first, he had to hide the instrument at a friend's house and practice in secret, as his father disapproved of the new rembetiko style that had captured his son's interest.

He met composer Mikis Theodorakis in 1959 and the two collaborated producing folk songs. Bithikotsis composed over 80 songs, including: Stu Belami to ouzeri and Toy Votanikou o magas. He possessed a rich singing voice with which he performed his own compositions and those of Theodorakis, who frequently chose his friend Grigoris to perform his masterpieces. The two contributed greatly to the then-emerging laika style of Greek music.

A leftist, he was exiled to the island of Makronisos in the 1950's during the reign of King Paul.

Throughout his life, Bithikotsis performed frequent concerts at numerous venues, including one in Athens upon the occasion of his eightieth birthday. He died in Athens, in 2005, following 3 months of hospitalization. His funeral was attended by thousands, including representatives of all the Greek political parties.

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